Patterico's Pontifications

12/29/2009

Obama Cites ‘Systemic Failure’ in Terror Attack

Filed under: Air Security,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 5:03 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama acknowledged a “systemic failure” enabled the terrorist attack on Northwest Flight #253:

“The president, in his most extensive comments so far on what went wrong in the security process, said information about the terror suspect was not properly shared among intelligence agencies. He said that information, particularly a warning to authorities from the 23-year-old suspect’s father in Nigeria, should have landed him on a no-fly list well before he boarded the Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam.

“The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America,” Obama said. “A systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable.”

Did it really take Obama 4 days to decide there was a “systemic failure” in the government’s handling of the events that led up to this attack? After all, even the CIA has admitted Abdulmutallab was on the government’s radar for a month:

“We learned of Abdulmutallab in November, when his father came to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and sought help in finding him,” Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman said. “We did not have his name before then. Also in November, we worked with the embassy to ensure he was in the government’s terrorist database-including mention of his possible extremist connections in Yemen. We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the National Counterterrorism Center.”

Once again, Obama has asked for an investigation and improvement of the government’s terrorist watch list. And when I say once again, I really mean once again. Where was this reform that Obama pledged to undertake as both a candidate and as President-elect?

— DRJ

25 Responses to “Obama Cites ‘Systemic Failure’ in Terror Attack”

  1. Did he make these additional comments because he was being held up by a foursome in front of him or because he realized how pitiful his performance yesterday came across?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  2. In my opinion, the real failure here is that we as a country are clining to the idea that it is possible to catch 100% of these attacks. Even if we were somehow able to overcome bureaucratic inertia to increase efficiency (which I highly doubt) you will never — you can never — get to 100% success. As long as we continue to have a completely defensive approach to dealing with terrorism, and as long as we continue to lack the political will to seek victory a future attack is guaranteed.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  3. Did it really take Obama 4 days to decide there was a “systemic failure”…

    It took 4 days to confirm that the whitewash wasn’t working.

    ras (88eebb)

  4. Remember, the woman in charge, and I use both terms advisedly, of your security, said this in regards to H1N1 in May.
    “I’ve tried to have a ham-and-cheese sandwich every day last week to make that point,” Napolitano told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday
    Feel safe?

    Gazzer (d98659)

  5. Time for another empty Obama statement, carefully crafted to please everyone and pleasing no one…

    chaos (9c54c6)

  6. “As Secretary Napolitano has said, once the suspect attempted to take down flight 253, after his attempt, it’s clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all the appropriate actions,” Obama said.

    It’s interesting to see how the presient simultaneously explains what Napolitano *really* meant while subtly letting us know that he stands behind his incompetent Secretary…hence, don’t expect a dismissal of her.

    Also, passengers took appropriate actions? Really? Are the correct procedures in taking down a terrorist by passengers explained by the flight attendant after she finishes up with the oxygen mask presentation?

    When was the expectation put on the passengers to react *appropriately*, and can we have those acceptable actions explicitly explained so we, the passengers won’t get sued or charged with attempted assault?

    ana (f64b7d)

  7. oops. My “D” appears to have stuck at #5.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  8. Even if we were somehow able to overcome bureaucratic inertia to increase efficiency (which I highly doubt) you will never — you can never — get to 100% success.

    Not necessarily – El Al has not had one terrorist attack on an airplane since the 70’s. To accept anything less than a 100% goal is to admit defeat and a resignation to accept needless deaths. We are not a nation of defeatists, no matter what our current crop of feckless leaders say these days.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  9. Whoops, I read your statement again, and obviously missed the context. Never mind.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  10. …after his attempt, it’s clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all the appropriate actions,” Obama said

    That right there is mind-numbingly moronic doublespeak. So, after the total failure of the system, “appropriate actions ” were taken. I yearn for the days when pols actually felt shame and resigned of their own accord. Sadly, Big Ears and Jimmy Nap are the very epitome of the Peter Principle.

    Gazzer (d98659)

  11. My thought is that the “systemic failure”, as far as this administration and the airline industry is concerned, is that the bomb did not go off and it was identified as a terrorist incident. If the plane had exploded it would have been an unexpected accident. After two years of investigation by the FAA and the NTSB, a report would have come out pointing to possibly a faulty electrical wire running through a fuel tank.

    nk (df76d4)

  12. My thought is that the “systemic failure”, as far as this administration and the airline industry is concerned, is that the bomb did not go off and it was identified as a terrorist incident. If the plane had exploded it would have been an unexpected accident. After two years of investigation by the FAA and the NTSB, a report would have come out pointing to possibly a faulty electrical wire running through a fuel tank.

    Well yes that is what went wrong, Abdulmahattabadeed or whatever the hell his name had a faulty electrical wire running through his underwear.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  13. Abulmutilated is planning a lawsuit. And his language is just a tad bit coarse.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  14. Comment by chaos — 12/29/2009 @ 5:38 pm

    Time for another empty Obama statement, carefully crafted to please everyone and pleasing no one…

    One exception; al Qaeda is quite thrilled (almost giddy).

    Pons Asinorum (740b85)

  15. We need a summit where President Obama can listen to all points of views. Then maybe have a beer together, hand out a couple gold medals. Employee a few airline passengers for Obamas citizen army. Fly over to Copenhagen sit down with world leaders if they show up, and give away a couple Trillion dollars and weatherize a couple homes while we are at it. At the end of the summit we can all sit around a sing Yes we Can Oh Great Leader. Yes We Can, Give Another Speech.

    Sanmon (319c0c)

  16. Has anyone heard word one from Shrillary? After all, State Dept is in charge of issuing and rescinding visas. Jimmy Nap is rightfully taking a lot of flak, why is Cankles exempt?

    Gazzer (d98659)

  17. Good point, (D)ana #6. Responding to the terrorist attacks is fine but the question is whether the government supports observant crew and passengers who report suspicious activity — as passengers did in the Flying Imans’ case. Where was the government when that resulted in crew and passengers getting sued? The suit was dropped as to the passengers but not the airline or the crew, and I don’t remember the government doing anything to protect them.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  18. Democrats refuse to profile terrorists, oh no, can’t do that, it’s better to let terrorists run around free to bomb airplanes willy nilly than to acknowledge Islam itself is at the root of the problem.

    Democrats won’t profile jihidi terrorists, but they’re quick to profile the Bush Administration whenever Obama’s team fails to protect the Homeland. Obama’s failures = Bush’s fault.

    ropelight (f85b33)

  19. August 6, 2001, President Bush is briefed while vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX. He is presented a report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Stike in U.S.”
    http://fas.org/irp/cia/product/pdb080601.pdf
    Bush tells the briefer, in dismissing him: “All right. You covered your ass.”
    And the president continued his vacation.
    The rest is, uh, history.
    You really want to compare how Obama has handled what the New York Post calls the “Crotch Bomber” and headlines: “Great Balls of Fire.” ?
    Maybe it would help if a certain Republican senator would stop keeping a hold on the nominee to head the TSA. But then, the Republican full-court obstructionism to bring down Obama is what matters — and they get extra benefit if their handiwork brings down a plane or two on Obama’s watch.
    Right?

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  20. Comment by Larry Reilly — 12/29/2009 @ 6:39 pm

    As usual, you’re inane. Bin Ladin (if he’s still alive) and Al Qaeda are still “Determined to Strike in U.S.”, so please tell us exactly where and when since that should be enough for you to predict the next attack. Aren’t you tired of making yourself look stupid?

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  21. Other than sending out a warning to all US embassies and having the FAA send out an alert, yeah, Bush did nothing in response to a general warning with no specific intelligence that could have provoked a specific response to stop a specific attack.

    I thought Michael Moore talking points had finally been put to the grave circa 2005, I guess not.

    But then, the Republican full-court obstructionism to bring down Obama is what matters — and they get extra benefit if their handiwork brings down a plane or two on Obama’s watch.
    Right?

    Just imagine the wailing from “Larry Reilly” if a conservative had suggested that Democratic opposition to the Patriot Act meant that Democrats wanted to see a “plane or two” go “down” on Bush’s watch in order to score political points.

    Oh wait we don’t have to imagine, “STOP QUESTIONING MY PATRIOTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ was the A-Number One Moonbat screech from 2001 to 2005.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  22. Larry what a clown. The Dem meme now is that the Rethugs are holding up confirmation of the TSA head; so they are bad delayers etc. Of course the Anointed One didn’t get around to nominating a person to fill the slot until September–leaving the slot vacant since his inauguration.

    Lemme see now, that’s 8 month’s delay for Obama and 3 months delay for the Rethugs. How’s that math working out Larry?

    Mike Myers (3c9845)

  23. TOTUS was on vacation at the same time. Too bad TOTUS wasn’t vacationing in Hawaii.

    Jim (582155)

  24. Larry

    > August 6, 2001, President Bush is briefed while vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX. He is presented a report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Stike in U.S.”

    You are correct. Before 9/11 Bush didn’t take terrorism seriously enough. But we are 8 years after and Obama still doesn’t. What is his excuse?

    > Maybe it would help if a certain Republican senator would stop keeping a hold on the nominee to head the TSA.

    Given the complete clusterfark Obama has been regarding his appointments, I tend to assume that it is Obama screwing this up, not anyone else.

    But you are right. If only Democrats had a filibuster proof majority, they could stop all this obstructionism.

    Oh, whoops, they do. Sorry, you guys own the government now, so whatever happens is your fault alone. So quit whining and show us how government can run every moment of our lives and do it competently. Because right now I see a government that will track a man with the CIA, that will receive repeated warnings from his father that the man is a terrorist, that finds his name in a terrorist rolodex, and still lets him board a flight for America, and let his plane enter our airspace. That became an inexcusable f— up around 9/12 or so.

    And I see a government that creates restrictions on the rest of us that means nothing. So for instance we are now limited to one carry on, on international flights. But The Knickerbomber had no carry ons at all, so how does that relate? Passengers are required to stay in their seats. But the only person getting out of their seat when The Knickerbomber burned his thang off was the hero dutch filmmaker who tackled him. I mean, this is not even responsive to what actually happened. I thought you dems were supposed to be geniuses at making government work.

    Really, the fact is that it turns out that our young and very inexperienced president is not learning on the job very quickly as hoped. I am continually stunned with the unique concoction of stupidity and arrogance they have going over at the White House. And your response is the internet equivalent of “look! A squirrel!”

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  25. #19 — Comment by Larry Reilly — 12/29/2009 @ 6:39 pm

    August 6, 2001, President Bush is briefed while vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX. He is presented a report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Stike in U.S.”
    http://fas.org/irp/cia/product/pdb080601.pdf
    Bush tells the briefer, in dismissing him: “All right. You covered your ass.”
    And the president continued his vacation.
    The rest is, uh, history.

    So according to you former President Bush was wrong, it is therefore okay for President Obama to continue making similar mistakes and he should not be called to task for doing so.

    Pure genius! Party first! That-a-way to put Party over Country.

    Maybe it would help if a certain Republican senator would stop keeping a hold on the nominee to head the TSA.

    Maybe that certain Senator is all that stands between our country and more incompetent “security” officials like SecHomeLand Janet Napolitano.

    If President Obama insists on appointing incompetent people like Napolitano, then he is fully responsible. Rather than blaming a Senator for excising his Constitutional Duties, maybe President Obama ought to consider appointing more respected, qualified, and competent people to these posts. Maybe he ought to listen and thank that Senator (of course, that will never dawn on someone like our President; it’s not about the country, it’s about the agenda, it’s about him).

    The system worked! The system did not work!! It is Bush’s fault!!!

    Yeah she’s a keeper. We need more just like her.

    But then, the Republican full-court obstructionism to bring down Obama is what matters — and they get extra benefit if their handiwork brings down a plane or two on Obama’s watch.
    Right?

    Wrong; we have now been attacked twice by Islamic Terrorists, on our own soil (and sky) under the Obama Administration. Still the President and Napolitano cannot figure-out who the enemy is.

    Name it, find it, kill it — this is as old as war itself, nothing complicated here. The President and his “crack” staff are still on step one — after two attacks on his watch and post 9/11.

    Al Qaeda must be luv’n this President.

    President Obama asked for the job and if he can’t handle it, he should resign for the good of the country.

    Pons Asinorum (740b85)


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